China to construct 1,124-megawatt power project in Pok under CPEC
China under the multi-billion-dollar CPEC will set up a 1,124-megawatt power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objection to it, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The details of the Kohala hydropower project was presented in the 127th meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) chaired by Energy Minister Omar Ayub on Monday.
The Express Tribune reported that the meeting was informed that a tripartite agreement has been finalised among China’s Three Gorges Corporation, the authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the PPIB to implement the 1,124-megawatt Kohala hydroelectric power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.
The project will be built on the Jhelum River and aims at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan.
The paper further reported that this marks one of the largest investments of USD 2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in the region.
The 3,000-km-long CEPC is aimed at connecting China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fiber networks. It connects China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan Gwadar port, providing access to China to the Arabian Sea.
The CPEC passes through PoK, over which India has conveyed its protests to China.
Last month, India protested to Pakistan awarding a mega contract to build a dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, saying carrying out of such projects in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation was not proper.
The Pakistan government has signed a whopping Rs 442 billion contract with a joint venture of a Chinese state-run firm and a commercial arm of Pakistan’s powerful military for construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam.
“Our position is consistent and clear that entire territory of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will continue to be integral and inalienable part of India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi last month.
“We have consistently conveyed our protests and shared concerns with both Pakistan and China on all such projects in the Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation,” it said.
Ayub, a grandson of former military ruler Ayub Khan, in his remarks, lauded the infrastructure board for playing a crucial role in optimising hydroelectric power generation.
He said the government was determined to ensure long-term energy sustainability and reliability for which renewable energy, hydroelectric power and indigenous coal-based projects were being prioritised.